More Halloween ethics:
Rev. Kenny Cousar of the Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro, Ohio has apologized for his parishioners giving trick-or-treaters comic-book style pamphlets about fearing God. The church had its members reward costumed children who rang their doorbells a pamphlet titled “Mean Momma” in which three children die, one by hanging himself. The Reverend said that the church was “careless,” since the pamphlet was inappropriate for small children. The Northview Baptist church’s Facebook page indicates that 2,200 pamphlets were handed out to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
Gee, I hope they didn’t try to EAT them. Some treat.
Apology not accepted. Halloween isn’t a proselytizing opportunity. The pastor says handing out pamphlets has been “well-received” in the past. Well received by whom? Show me an 8-year old who is happy that he got a religious pamphlets in his bag instead of a Snickers bar, and I’ll show you one weird kid.
It is unfair and presumptuous to hijack a kid’s holiday to pursue a personal or organizational agenda. That means that you hand out candy on Halloween, not condoms, not American flags, not “Romney for President” buttons, not “Go Green” bumper stickers, and not asparagus. If you don’t want to participate in the spirit of the tradition, then turn off your lights and hope you don’t get egged, while I’ll hope that you do.
The church, however, compounded its misconduct by being “careless,’ as the reverend put it, about what it was handing out to children in furtherance of its own goals. Adults don’t get to be careless on Halloween. “Ooops! I think I put rat poison in that little Darth Vader’s bag instead of M&M’s! Silly me!” If nobody in the church bothered to read the pamphlets it was giving out to kids, that’s inexcusably negligent. If they did read them, and ignored that they were being given to children, that’s inexcusably stupid. In either case, it was inexcusable.